The Stanford women's golf team inched its way up the leaderboard by shooting even-par on the back nine Sunday in the third round of the NCAA Championships. Sitting in 10th through 36 holes, Stanford bumped ahead to seventh place among the 24-team field.
Play was halted due to darkness with six teams still on the course. Those teams -- including first-place USC (+28) and second-place Duke (+31) -- will resume their third round Monday morning.
Stanford's 8-over 296 was the second-best score by a team that finished its third round at the challenging par-72 layout of The Concession Golf Club. That score came after earlier rounds of 5-over and 35-over.
Every Cardinal golfer shaved multiple strokes off their Saturday total. Hitting the reset button was Casey Danielson and her 2-over 74, a team-best 13 shots lower than her round-two 87, which triggered the divot squad to potentially claiming a spot in the eight-team match play contingent. Danielson was 1-under on the back nine.
"We stuck with our same strategy, but we refocused and went into this round with a lot of patience," Cardinal coach Anne Walker said. "We did a better job of realizing that since there are so many tough greens out here, it was best to put ourselves in places that at worst left us with a bogey. The team got up-and-down a lot to save par, and that will give us confidence going into the next round."
Lauren Kim (E) led the way with an even-par 72 that included three birdies. Shannon Aubert (+3) was even on the back nine with a pair of birdies, and Mariah Stackhouse (+3) had to wait until her 17th to find a birdie.
Stackhouse is tied for eighth in the medalist race and trails Alabama's Emma Talley (E) by five strokes.
Stanford teamed to birdie the par-5 17th four times and counted only one double bogey to its team total. In its previous round, the Cardinal counted 11 scores of double bogey or worse.
Following 54-holes of stroke play the top 15 teams -- and the top nine individuals not on an advancing teams -- will compete in a fourth round of stroke play to determine the top eight teams for the match play competition and the 72-hole stroke-play individual champion.
The top eight teams after 72 holes of stroke play will be placed into a bracket for the match play portion of the tournament, which takes place Tuesday (quarterfinals and semifinals) and Wednesday (finals).